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Photo courtesy of Adelphi University
Photo courtesy of Adelphi University
President of Phi Sigma Sigma Oliva Di Guillio.

A driven Brooklynite understands the importance of education and is showing it by her actions.

Undergrad student at Adelphi University Olivia Di Giulio, born and raised in Gravesend, played an integral role in hosting an event that helped raise money for school supplies for families in need.

Di Giulio, president of the school’s Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, and nearly 50 sisters of the organization participated in the fundraiser for the second consecutive year on Friday, November 11.

“The event was called Do it for the Kids,” she said. “It is dedicated to the Kids in Need Foundation, which is an organization that gives all new school supplies to children in underprivileged areas. The items collected will be directly benefiting a school in Hempstead, the David Patterson School.”

According to Di Giulio, the school has a significant student population that doesn’t have proper school supplies or funds, so helping those students made a significant impact.

“Our organization is very passionate about this cause in particular because it directly deals with children and their education,” she said. “It’s been scientifically proven when children have the tools they need for school, they will do better. On tests, they will have better performance overall because they have that kind of confidence they didn’t have before.”

adelphi-university-phi-sigma-sigma-members-sort-donated-books-paula-spatz-athina-mihaliadis-olivia-di-giulio

Photo courtesy of Adelphi University

The event was a major success in comparison to last year. “We had roughly close to 300 guests and we collected almost $3,300 in total,” Di Giulio said. “We were very pleased. This year, we tripled the money we made and doubled the school supplies.”

Phi Sigma Sigma, an important part of Di Giulio’s life as president, played a major role in the event. “If it wasn’t for every single effort of every single person in my sorority, we would have never gotten as much publicity for the event,” said the 21-year-old. “People tend to think that all sororities and fraternities do is party, and that’s definitely not the case. As a sorority woman, it’s great to defy the odds and expectations.”

Di Giulio also credits her growth to her hometown of Gravesend. “I grew up fairly middle class and my whole family lives around the same block,” she said. “The neighborhood changed me because it is very diverse. I grew up with a lot of people that didn’t look like me or speak the same language and I think I directly benefited from that as far as my acceptance and tolerance for others.”

She attended St. Edmund Preparatory High School, which helped Di Giulio choose Adelphi as her undergraduate school. “It was a great experience and a small school,” she said. “I had friends. The teachers knew my name and that helped a lot and I chose Adelphi because it was also a very small school and I have that same comfort here.”

The sky’s the limit for this senior. Once Di Giulio graduates, she plans to attend law school as she is a political science major. “I feel like through a career in law, I could somehow help people,” she said. “Someday, I want to get into family law which directly deals with children.”

No matter what the future holds for Di Giulio, she will always remember her experience with her sorority. “I can help others through my involvement with the sorority,” she said, “If I can help them grow and reach their potential, that’s all I could ask for.”

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